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Dwelling In The Word

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(A contemporary Lectio Divina-type practice for a group setting such as a

spiritual community, collegial group, church council, Eldership, study group, etc.)

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Contemplative page

1. One person in the group reads the Scripture, leisurely and with natural

     inflection


2. Each person contemplates what they’ve heard while holding silence

(1 to 2 minutes to begin with; enough to promote the contemplative aspect

  of this practice, but not too much to distract those who are present)


3. leader sounds a chime


4. The same person similarly reads the scripture


5.  The groups holds the silence once more, a bit shorter this time

(1 to 2 minutes to begin with; enough to promote the contemplative aspect

  of this practice, but not too much to distract those who are present)


6. Participants then get together with one “reasonably-friendly-stranger”*

Discuss questions:

• Where were you stopped in the Word

      ( what was the still, small voice of a

word or phrase that said, “I am for you today.”)

• What would you like to ask the Biblical scholar


After pairs have shared with each other for a time, the leader then gathers participants back into larger group and invites anyone who would like to share what they heard from their “reasonably friendly stranger”*

     (this is an option for folks who choose to share; others should respectfully  

           and contemplatively listen in silence without any cross talk)

This process for sharing involves each person who is sharing to:

• Introduce their “reasonably-friendly-stranger”*

• Tell larger group what their partner said

• It is a fine thing to experience a wee bit of silence between

   those who choose to share     


8. When sharing is completed, the same person similarly reads the

scripture, again


9. Hold the Silence for 15 to 30 seconds, then complete the practice with

a chime

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NOTE: An valuable element for using “Dwelling in the Word” as a part of meetings, discernment-work and group decision-making is that ANYONE in the group can call for a “Return To the Word” at ANYTIME during any portion of the meeting. At such a time as someone calls for the group to “Return To the Word”, the group immediately quiets itself without questioning the Return. After a short time of quiet, a pre-designated person reads the text, and then this reading is followed by a short time of silence and contemplation before the leader moves the group back into its previous discussion.


*A “reasonably friendly stranger” is a person in the group you don’t yet know, or for a group in which all participants are already acquainted, this person would be someone you are least familiar with, or least likely to pair up with in other settings.